Thursday, August 28, 2008

Exhausting Tim

Last night, after an exciting 4-1 victory over the pesky rookies, I felt just like Austin Powers after a photo shoot...I was spent! Tim Lincecum was probably fresh as a daisy, even after a career high 132 pitches over 7.2 innings. Damn kids, don't know any better. Right from the start, I was having a bad feeling. When Tim gave up a couple hard hit balls and fell behind 1-0, I started sweating. Every inning that Livan mowed us down made my heart sink a little deeper. I found that it was ALL ABOUT Tim getting the win. I know that I'm always spouting that wins are not important, blah, blah... but last night that didn't enter my mind. My attitude was getting snarkier by the second ( my friends will verify that, sorry! ) until, of course, two pitches to Bengie and


( Unfortunately for my friends this happened in the car after I left. ) After Wilson finished up I thought I would post, but I was too tired and crashed. A great win, another great job by Lincecum ( 10 strikeouts for 210 on the season, lowered his ERA to major league leading 2.43 ) but this morning I am not basking in The Enchanter's glory.

Instead I am still wondering if we are doing the right thing with Tim. After 7 innings he had thrown 116 pitches, already above his average. Tim was due up and I'm sure most people thought he was done. Didn't somebody in the front office just mention the idea of shutting down Sanchez and Lincecum early? Obvious for Jonathan, but are they really going to "manage" Tim at all? Does the front office have a plan, or do they ride that exciting Lincecum train (like I did last night) for as long as possible? Is that extra inning that Bonehead likes to send Tim and Matt out to get really worth it? In a few years are we all going to wondering what could have been? I am a lunatic fringe fan, my emotions get the best of me (like last night). Are the people in charge of Tim's future any different than me?


Anonymous said...

I can certainly vouch for the snarkiness, and I was the one to make the "PABLOOOOOOOOO" phone call to celebrate--but as the author's "better half," I must comment on the sad reliance on conventional wisdom in the second half of this "tired" post. Let the boy throw the ball!! I thought he should have finished the 8th. He's just a youngster, for cryin' out loud! Why save his gas for a rainy day when he can bring it---even late in the game? Tim's worst innings were early, not late! 130 pitches later...well, he was warmed up. The long, loud ovation tells me the crowd agreed. No need for micro management here!!

There's my first post, SIR! Thanks for the encouragement.


M.C. O'Connor said...

Rock on, RV.

Here's a bit of sacrilege to chew on:

Like Barry, The Rocket, Maddux, ManRam, etc., The Enchanter will not finish his career with the team he started with. As soon as he's a free agent, he'll be bought by the Yanks or Sox or Dodgers or Angels or Cubs or etc. So let's get that Cy Young NOW while he's still a baseball toddler. Send him out there on short rest so he can pass Webb in wins!!!!

Brother Bob said...

Is Lincecum a "prospect" or is he already one of the 5 best pitchers on the planet? We all know the answer to that question. He's still never thrown a single complete game. So he's not being abused, he's getting "extended."
I was so pissed off the Livan Fucking Hernandez was shutting us out. I hate that guy. I hated him when he was a Giant. Then "Big Money" unloaded. You gotta love Molina, c'mon. And of course I was freakin THRILLED when Pablo put the next pitch over the fence. How perfect that his 1st ML homer was to the opposite field.

Zo said...

Well, in response to MOC on Monday's post of 663344, and in context of this post on Tim, check out Baggs today at (just pretend this is a link, click on it and then, real quick, cut and paste it into your browser). He also references and comments on Bruce Jenkins' two part article on pitch counts. It is not a bad article but fails to account for one important thing. That is, pitchers today can, in general, be quite a bit younger in the major leagues than they were in the 1960's. And if you are going to injure someones arm from sheer workload, you are likely to do so at a young age, as has been documented and is the whole concept and basis for pitcher abuse points. Jenkins points out, correctly, that pitch counts are one metric, but may not be a particularly telling one compared to other visible signs of fatigue, and Baggs agrees. Tim looks and acts strong at the end of the game. That said, he is our franchise and needs to be protected because we are going exactly no where this year. And while the difference between 116 and 130 pitches makes for fine debate, what is missing is insight on how Tim's arm is actually feeling. Hopefully, Bochy has some insight and hopefully, he is guided by the best interests of Tim and the Giants in the future. Also, I agree with brotherbob. I was so happy when Molina and Pablo hit home runs. I would have been made ill to lose to Livan 1-0.

Zo said...

One more note: Tim Lincecum has the 51st worst run support of any pitcher in the majors of the 86 who have thrown at least 140 innings. Other pitchers have had even worse support, such as Barry Zito and Matt Cain, who come in at 83rd and 84th. Did you all notice the comparison with Cliff Lee, noted pitcher for the Cleveland Tribe? Innings pitched, Lee: 185.3; Lincecum: 185.3. ERA, Lee: 2.43; Lincecum: 2.43. Record, Lee: 19-2; Lincecum: 15-3 (hmmm...could this be the result of other players?). K, Lee: 145; Lincecum: 210. K/BB, Lee: 5.37; Lincecum: 3.00; K/9, Lee: 7.04; Lincecum:10.20!; Run Support, Lee: 6.02; Lincecum: 4.81.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Great stuff, Zo-meister. Run support is oft-overlooked in the quest for gaudy W-L stats.

Tim really is one of the best pitchers in baseball. He's not just a phenom. He's that good. 215 K's. That's filthy.

RV has a point--if Tim is The Freak, then let him be The Freak. He might be that kind of athlete. But it is a gamble, especially when he is the most valuable asset of the franchise.